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Colin Munford at Spotland
Saturday, February 1, 2014
League Two: Rochdale 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
Daggers completed the double over Rochdale with a smash and grab victory at Spotland thanks to Rhys Murphy’s 13th goal of the season.
Just like the home match which Daggers won 3-1, Keith Hill’side spent much of the game on top.
But they failed to make the most of it and Murphy’s tap in on 62 minutes sealed the first away win since October 22 – a 1-0 win over Southend United.
Boss Wayne Burnett decided to keep faith with the same team which started the 1-1 home draw with Southend United on Tuesday.
The early pressure came from the hosts and they should have taken the lead with only five minutes on the clock.
An Ian Henderson corner was cleared by the Daggers but it was played back into the box and the ball fell invitingly for George Donnelly just a few yards out but he somehow scooped the effort over the bar.
All the pressure in the early stages was coming from the hosts and goalkeeper Chris Lewington was at full stretch to deny Donnelly’s header after a dinked ball in from home skipper Michael Rose.
It certainly was a backs-to-the-wall job for much of the half and Josh Lillis in the Dale goal was a spectator for much of it.
He watched a Rhys Murphy attempt fly harmlessly over the bar, and that was the only opportunity of the half for the Daggers.
Confusion amongst the visiting ranks arose again late in the half as Doe left a ball in from the right, and Henderson, sliding in at the back post was just unable to take full advantage.
Daggers had more of the ball at the start of the second period, however it was the hosts who had the first effort of note as Matt Done drilled an effort low from 30 yards just wide of the goal, with Lewington watching it all the way.
Chances were few and far between, and Dale manager Keith Hill brought on top goalscorer Scott Hogan to try and liven up proceedings.
But he soon found his side behind when Luke Wilkinson, still up from a Daggers corner, played a fierce ball into the box and Murphy was at the back post to fire home his 13th goal of the season.
The pressure started to mount for the Daggers though as Dale went in search of the equaliser.
And after Wilkinson conceded a 78th minute corner, the visitors had skipper Abu Ogogo back on the line to clear Hogan’s header from a Henderson delivery.
It was panic stations at the back again as another Hogan effort was blocked by Wilkinson, before the striker got his head on the ball again, only to be denied by Lewington.
The goalkeeper had to be equal to a Done effort with five minutes remaining as the hosts laid siege on the Daggers goal.
But the visitors had the perfect chance to wrap things up two minutes from time when the ball found its way to substitute Chris Dickson but he somehow poked the effort from close range straight at Lillis.
Opportunities continued to come the Daggers way on the counter attack and Elito could have settled it but his effort was deflected behind for a corner, with an unmarked Luke Norris crying out for the pull back.
Rochdale: Lillis, Bennett (Bunney 73), Eastham, Vincenti (Cummins 66), Kennedy, Donnelly (Hogan 58), Lund, Done, O’Connell, Rose, Henderson.
Unused substitutes: Thomson, Rafferty, Porter, Allen.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Connors, Doe, Wilkinson, Hoyte, Ogogo, Elito, D’Ath, Norris, Murphy (Bingham 90+4), Hines (Dickson 84).
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Shields, Obafemi, Ilesanmi, Saah.